How to Install an Exterior Sliding Barn Door: Step-by-Step

Most people believe that the only functionality of a door is to ensure privacy.

However, people forget that every aspect of the house, including the door, is an expression of your own taste. Aesthetic and a beautiful door can be just the touch of you to a house that would otherwise be boring and stale.

From bedrooms to the living room to the kitchen, we all need a door that is compact, functional, and maybe sometimes one that can add a unique touch to our door.

A switch from a traditional swinging door to the ever-compact modern sliding barn door is maybe what you may be looking for.

And the best thing about it is that you can install the door yourself. Here’s the guide on how to install an exterior sliding barn door.

Materials Required

At first, we need to ensure that we have the materials at hand to install a sliding barn door to our backyard:

  • A door mounting kit
  • Ladders
  • Goggles
  • A mounting board
  • Measuring tape
  • Socket wrenches
  • Awl

How to Install an Exterior Sliding Barn Door?

Here’s the step-by-step process for you.

 Step 1: Assembling the Board

At first, cut out and assemble the board according to the measurement of your opening. When you measure the opening in order to fit the board, make sure to keep a buffer zone or adjustment zone of at least half an inch.

We need that space to make sure the door can be opened and closed with ease. With the help of clamps, set up the cut board according to where you want the door to be.

Step 2: Making Sure to Attach a Mount Board

After that, make sure to attach a mounting board. It would be the secure support to your door track and will essentially keep your door in place. The mounting board is also necessary in order to support your often heavy barn door and help it slide with ease.

Of course, the board needs to be bigger than the barn door itself to provide the support. Usually, they are twice the size as the door will need to have enough space from a larger mounting board to slide within. The larger board also can withstand door weight, which is crucial when mounting a sliding door.

Step 3: Drilling to Help Set the Door

With the measurements in place from the assembly now, you can move on to drilling in order to set the door in place. If your door comes with an installation guide going over all the guides, all the better. However, if not, you can take the measurement from the assembly.

However, drilling is risky, and the most important part of this step is ensuring your safety. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes and the shield if necessary to protect your entire face.

After the safety precautions are taken, drill holes into the mounting board along the lines you selected before. Using a drill machine, drill holes along the line creating pilot holes and maintaining the proper alignment.

Step 4: Rollers and Final Assembly

After the drilling part, you move on to assembling the door onto the mounting board and with a roller on top, which is the backbone to a sliding barn door. Without a roller, the barn door wouldn’t be the sliding barn door we are trying to achieve.

In this step, you must carefully install the rollers both under and over the door to make sure the door slides as smoothly as possible.

And in this step, you also need to attach any final screws missing in order to properly assemble the door to its place.

Step 5: Hanging the Door

Finally, hang the door onto the mounting board so that you can make sure it properly fits and attaches on the right track. All the work you have done maybe redundant if this part is not properly implemented; thus, it is also the most crucial part of your DIY door projects.

We would recommend you ask for help in this stage from someone else as doors are often quite heavy, and the wrong movement can either break the door or hurt yourself.

Step 6: Testing the Door

The last and final step is, of course, testing out whether all this work actually paid off. Slide the door multiple times to see if it slides back and forth smoothly. If it does, well done. And if it doesn’t, just recheck on the rollers as they are the main responsible party for the sliding.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Even after following all the steps, you still may have some questions. Here are our answers to the top most frequently asked questions.

#1. How to make a barn door track?

Answer: This is definitely one of the easiest jobs to do in your backyard. You would need two steel plates, and the first one should be attached to the mounting board.

The second one would be used for attaching rollers. In terms of sizes of the plates, the second plate should be 6 feet, and the first plates should almost double the size of the door to work.

After collecting them, assemble them to their place and drill holes into the first plate to attach with screws. There should be about 3 or 4 holes. Heat the second plate, bend them, and cut them into three U-shaped pieces. You can create the U shapes by bending them. Finally, insert the rollers, and your barn track is ready.

#2. How to install a barn door track system?

Answer: In order to properly install a track system, your track should be twice in size as the door for it to function properly. Using the installation guide, drill holes through the track and the attached wall. Using screws and bolts, finish the placement.

Lastly, attach rollers on both ends of the track. Rollers are essential to the installation of the barn track door system, so make sure you properly ensure that they are placed in the right place.

#3. How to build a door using 2×4?

Answer: You would need some expertise with this method. Firstly measure the height and width of your preferable doorway first. After that, you would need some good quality lumber, typically in the lengths of either 8, 10, or 12 feet.

With a leveler, measure the straightness of them. Then, if you find the lumbers adequately suitable, cut them into the pieces of your measurements of the doorway. This would give you the battens.

To get your cross pieces, use the miter saw. They should be about 45 degrees to help to keep the battens attached. Screw them in places with the battens, and you are essentially done.

#4. Which is better, French door or sliding barn door?

Answer: Sliding doors are space-saving and can be easy to use, where else French doors often mechanical and can take up a lot of space. However, French doors also offer better ventilation than sliding doors. So, in the end, it will be based on your needs and requirements.

In Conclusion

That’s the end of our guide on how to install an exterior sliding barn door. We hope the step-by-step guide was helpful enough to do so, and the answers to the frequently asked questions provided any other lingering questions you had in mind.

And we believe that installing a sliding barn door is one of the easiest tasks you can do by yourself, but it is definitely one of the amplifying aspects of your representation in your house.

Related Resource: 
Top 5 Best Barn Door Hardware Kit for Cabinets Review.

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